Four Fullerton College football players face two felonies each for an alleged attack on a Cal State Fullerton basketball player last August, and three of them were suspended by their coach for the entire football season.
But the fourth player, who is accused of initiating the attack, was allowed to rejoin the team after being sat out for six games.
Because Fullerton College head coach Tim Byrnes says Ahmad Muse is the most skilled player of the four suspendees and the coach did not want to jeopardize the 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end's potential future as an NCAA student-athlete.
"At least he'll have a chance to go on and get his education done, and he needs to," Byrnes told CSUF's Daily Titan last month. "If I would have cut him off and say 'you're gone,' then his life is over.
"Hopefully if it becomes a misdemeanor then he'll be OK," added Byrnes, who noted, "If it becomes a felony, then most schools will dump him."
Fullerton College Hornets Muse, Malcolm Postell, Terrence Lange and Sean Duncan-Wills attended a party Aug. 22 at CSUF's University House, where Muse is accused of sexually harassing the girlfriend of Titan basketball player Joseph Boyd.
The four football players allegedly beat Boyd in the University House parking garage elevator early the next morning, according to Fullerton Police, which obtained surveillance video of several men assaulting the then-CSUF freshman.
Video also shows the four leaving the elevator and two of them laughing and high-fiving one another, say police, who believe Boyd may have been left at least temporarily unconscious.
Postell was removed from the Fullerton College roster a month after the incident. Muse went on to play in December's California Community College Athletic Association title game, where the Hornets lost of Butte College, 28-13.
A 2013 graduate of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, Boyd was one of the top-rated prospects in the state of Arizona, according to his CSUF bio, which also notes he originally signed with Drake University but requested his release following a coaching change.
The forward, who is listed at 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, appeared in 28 games and made four starts in the 2013-14 season, when he averaged 2.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per game for the Titans. He led the team in rebounding in three games, recording a season-high and team-leading 10 rebounds in a 76-62 loss at USC on Nov. 19.
Muse, Postell, Lange and Duncan-Wills have a pre-trial hearing set for June 4, and trial is scheduled to begin June 30, according to Orange County Superior Court records.